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Game #34: A’s Crush Pirates 14-1, Anderson Gem, Bolt Debut, Phegley 8 RBI

We’re back!

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Game Thread (one was lucky enough)

The A’s Win! The A’s Win! In banner news this week (the only game they won!), the A’s won a game! Behind the strength of Josh Phegley’s 8 RBI game (that is not a typo, and it’s the first catcher in A’s history to accomplish such a feat) and Brett Anderson’s terrific start (6.0 IP), the A’s crush the Pirates by the score of 14-1. It was glorious.

I was finishing up some Friday work tonight when the game started. Here is the text update I received:

“Pirates score first on miscommunication between Semien, Profar at second base on what should have been a double-play ball. Click.”

And, indeed, that is what happened. The Pirates took the lead in the first inning in exactly this way. And if we’re being honest, in the last six games, that would have felt like the end in the very first inning.

But unlike every other game this week (and I mean every one!), the A’s didn’t pay for this miscue. In fact, they turned it around less than five minutes later and started to pile on.

For once—FOR ONCE—the A’s capitalized on an error by the other team and made them pay; Khris Davis reached base on a throwing error to open the second inning. And, from there, it’s off to the races. Stephen Piscotty singled him to second base and he scored on Kendrys Morales’ subsequent single. Jurickson Profer was hit in the next at-bat to move Kendrys to second base (remember, Piscotty is on third). Enter Josh Phegley, bases loaded. (Spoiler alert: It wouldn’t be the last time). And our catcher with the mostest, Josh Phegley, doubled down the line to score all three runs. And just like that, from an ugly 1-0 deficit, the A’s turned on a dime to take the 4-1 lead.

And then they piled on. Brett Anderson reached on a fielders’ choice as Phegley went to third, and eventually Anderson to second on a throwing error.

Marcus Semien grounded out to score the A’s fifth run; all before the second inning drew to a close, and they didn’t let up at all in the third. Khris Davis (yes, him of the 9,000 strikeouts this week), walked to open the third and moved to second on a one-out single by Kendrys Morales. With two outs, Phegley singled yet again and scored Davis, giving the A’s the 6-1 lead. (He wasn’t done.) And then, super fun, Brett Anderson hit an infield single. I KNOW! Even the Pirates were laughing in the dugout. It was awesome.

With the bases loaded with A’s (Kendrys 3rd, Phegley 2nd, Anderson 1st), Semien drew the walk for the A’s seventh run. As as the third drew to a close, the A’s opened the fourth with some more fireworks.

Matt Chapman doubled to open the inning and Khris Davis walked (!?!) to put two on. With one out, Kendrys walked to load the bases, bringing up Profar. He singled (preemptively trying to make us forget his completely mental error up 11-1 later in the game), scoring the A’s eighth run. And then, who comes to the plate, but everyone’s hero catcher, Josh Phegley. Who promptly repeated his earlier performance; a bases-clearing double for three more RBI. (Phegley RBI count: 7). Oh, and Anderson singled again in the inning.

It can’t be stated enough; Anderson was terrific in this one; 6.0 innings, 4 hits, 1 ER. That’s as good as it gets.

Chapman homered to give the A’s the 13-1 lead, and just to cap off his amazing day, Phegley homered to give the A’s the final 14-1 lead in the ninth. What a performance by the catcher that is (rightly) getting all of the attention for the A’s this year.

THE A’S WIN! CAN THEY WIN TOMORROW TOO? See you back, same time, same place.

(Sorry for the delay, but did you see the Portland/Denver 4-OT game!?)